The first date after a genital herpes diagnosis may seem a little strange, however. If you hope to be sexually intimate with your date at some point, you may feel like you're keeping a secret. This article tells you how to date with genital herpes
Vaughan, ON -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/21/2014 -- It is important to understand that genital HSV is very common, affecting about 20% of the U.S. adult population.
You can never tell if someone has herpes. About one-fifth of all people aged 12 and up in the U.S. are infected with the HSV-2 virus that causes genital herpes, but as many as 90% don't know it. (By comparison, experts estimate 50% to 80% of adults have oral herpes.). More women than men are infected -- one in four women compared with one in five men.
1. Using condoms or other barrier methods, which can reduce transmission by about 30 percent.
A condom may protect people from the herpes virus if it covers the infected area.
2. Ask partner if he or she has ever had a sexually transmitted disease.
Most people who have genital herpes don't know they're infected, so ask whether he or she has had any other sexually transmitted disease. People with STDs are more likely to have genital herpes.
It may be awkward, but it's important to be honest with each other. Partner may be afraid to tell the truth if he or she fears a negative reaction. If partner feels comfortable talking it, they'll be more likely to get straight answers.
3. Telling a Partner “I Have Herpes”
This is quite possibly the hardest part of dating with herpes. It can be a terrifying situation which can play out one of many ways. Likely the mind will go through each scenario over and over again. However, the worst possibly situation that could occur is them leaving your life. In this case, they were not worth their time anyway.
Internet Sites like Positivesingles.com or support groups can be great places to meet with other people who already know what they're going through.
4. Limit the number of sexual partners
The fewer sexual partners people have in their lifetime, the less likely they are to be exposed to the herpes virus.
5. Don't have sex with a partner who has sores on his or her genitals.
The risk of transmission can be significantly reduced by sharing diagnosis with partners before having sex, avoiding sex during outbreaks, using condoms and taking daily oral suppressive therapy. This is an infection that can be controlled, and transmission can be reduced, but it all depends on the first step of knowing the infection status.
6. Ask partner to be tested for genital herpes.
If people are dating a non-infected individual, it is a good idea to have them tested regularly to make sure they didn't pass gift along. Usually once or twice a year is enough.
7. Don't have sex while intoxicated.
Alcohol and illicit drugs lower inhibitions and impair judgment. People tend to be less careful about practicing safer sex while intoxicated and they often regret it later.
8. Abstain from sex until people have a life-long monogamous partner.
The only way to be 100% certain people won't get a sexually transmitted disease is to have just one sex partner who has no STDs -- and only if both stay monogamous.
9. Don't have oral sex
Oral herpes, which causes sores on the mouth (known as cold sores of fever blisters), can be passed to the genitals through oral sex.
Up to 50 percent of new genital herpes infections in the United States are due to HSV type 1. Most of these infections are transmitted through oral sex. About 60 percent of adults are infected with HSV-1, which is the type of herpes simplex responsible for more than 98 percent of cold sores, though it accounts for a growing number of genital infections as well.
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